I’m a go-getter and a doer. I’m the kind of person you either love or hate during group projects because I’ll correct your work if it’s not up to my standards, and I’ll probably take over most of the assignment myself. It’s not great that I’m like this sometimes, but it’s a facet of my personality that isn’t easy to turn on and off. What I’ve learned over the years, however, is that sometimes the best parts of you can also be the worst parts. Your optimism can turn into naiveté. Your driven nature can become overbearing. Your passiveness can turn into laziness. What I’ve always noticed about Community is that it pinpoints these elements in its characterization of the study group members. Jeff’s ego is good because it often drives him to become motivated. But his ego is also tied to his vanity, which is destructive to both himself and the people around him. Annie’s always been driven. It’s something that will always be true. We need people like Annie or the ice melts and projects go unfinished. But we’ve seen what happens when Annie allows her ambition to run ahead of her better judgment. She tends to become obsessed with ideas and visions, blinding herself to her own conscience. (We’ve seen this happen many times, notably in “Intro to Political Science,” “Basic Lupine Urology,” “Geography of Global Conflict,” and “Intro to Felt Surrogacy.”)
Annie’s drive and determination is something to be admired, but not when she becomes all-consumed with one goal that she loses sight of many others along the way and ignores warning signs. Usually Jeff is the one to teach Annie these lessons. He’s often the person to talk her away from the ledge, to remind her of what’s truly important. But he’s a bit preoccupied in “Analysis of Cork-Based Networking,” so Buzz Hickey is the one to teach Annie this truth, though not without her teaching one to him as well. But before we dive into that particular story, grab your handy-dandy bulletin board because you may want to tack up some notes.